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Logo. Feature : Power
One example for Feature : Power
Used for describe power lines and associated infrastructure.

The power=* tag is used to identify a wide range of facilities and features that relate to the generation and distribution of electrical power including power lines, power generation, pylons and sub-stations. WikiProject Power networks gives more details of the project to map electricity distribution.


Key Value Element Comment Rendering Photo
power plant Area Relation A place/industrial facility where power is generated. Individual generating units within the facility should be tagged as power=generator.
Huntly Power Station.JPG
power cable Way A way following the path of underground cables, such as the local 0.4 kV network between transformer stations, distribution boxes and cable connection points, or sea cables. Not to be confused with non-power supply cables such as cables for telecommunication. May be combined with voltage=*, circuits=* and location=*.
Power to the People - geograph.org.uk - 560240.jpg
power compensator Node Area Several kind of power devices used to insure of power quality and network resilience.
Static VAR Compensator 2a.png
power converter Node Area An HVDC converter converts electric power from high voltage alternating current (AC) to high-voltage direct current (HVDC), or vice-versa.
Pole 2 Thyristor Valve.jpg
power generator Node Area A device used to convert power from one form to another. Use in combination with generator:source=*, generator:method=* and generator:output=*.
Eoliennes Gaspesie.jpg
power heliostat Node A mirror of a heliostat device.
power insulator Node Way A device to protect a power line from grounding on supports
Power insulator.png
power line Way A way following the path of (overground) power cables. For minor power lines with poles and not towers, you may want to use power=minor_line. Useful combinations: voltage=*, cables=* and wires=*. Please see the respective feature pages for details.
Power-tower mapnik.png
Electric transmission lines.jpg
power minor_line Way A way following the path of (overground) minor power cables, supported by poles and not towers/pylons. (This isn't quite so simple, as sometimes larger towers are replaced by smaller poles made with a stronger material; a better distinction might be based on voltage).
Minor line mapnik.jpg
power pole Node For single (often wooden or concrete) poles carrying medium/low voltage electricity cables.
Minor line mapnik.jpg
power portal NodeWay Power supporting structure composed of vertical legs with cables between them attached to a horizontal crossarm
Power substation portal.jpg
power catenary_mast Node A catenary mast supports system of overhead wires used to supply electricity to electricaly powered vehicle equipped with a pantograph.
power substation Node Area A tag for electricity substations. These provide voltage step-up/step-down, switching, conditioning, etc. Substations may be large facilities (up to several acres) for very high voltage transmission lines or just small buildings or kiosks near the street for low voltage distribution lines. Useful combinations: voltage=*, substation=* and location=*, see the feature page for details.
power switch Node A tag for electricity switches which are devices which allow operators to power up & down lines and transformer in substations or outside.
French overhead power switch pole.jpg
power terminal Node Point of connection between overhead power lines to buildings or walls
power tower Node For towers or pylons carrying high voltage electricity cables. Normally constructed from steel latticework but tubular or solid pylons are also commonly used. Should not be used for medium or low voltage electricity conductors carried on single wooden poles which might be tagged power=pole. See power=tower for detailed tagging of tower types.
Power-tower mapnik.png
Benkid77 Puddington-Shotwick footpath 24 110809.JPG
power transformer Node A static device for transferring electric energy by inductive coupling between its windings. Large power transformers are typically located inside substations.
Trafostation Alter Hellweg IMGP4722.jpg
power User Defined Node Way Area All commonly used values according to Taginfo

This table is a wiki template with a default description in English. Editable here.


Very useful for navigation.

The number of wires in each cable can tagged using wires=single, wires=double or wires=quad. All towers also have one or more earth wires strung from the top.

United Kingdom

National Grid call the things "towers" as they're free-standing, but common usage seems to be "pylon"

In England and Wales, higher-voltage (>= 275kV) lines are operated by National Grid. Lower voltage lines are operated by distribution network operators (UK Power Networks, Western Power Distribution, etc) with regional scope. Different DNOs have different construction standards, so while the transmission network is consistent across the country, the distribution network has substantial design variations.

In the UK, each National Grid power line appears to have a two character identifier and each tower along that line appears to be numbered. For example ZM is the West Weybridge to Chessington line, and each tower is numbered ZM 1, ZM 2, etc. I propose that these be recorded, if known, for each tower with the ref tag. For example: power=tower, ref=ZM 35. Higher-voltage DNO lines use similar schemes, sometimes with three-letter line identifiers (e.g. PTC connects Burwell to Fulbourn Grid).

In the UK there is a hierarchy of power lines that is easy to identify. Most are identifiable over long distances which makes them useful for navigation. Other countries follow very similar schemes (not surprising as the design is constrained by the same physics and economics). Starting at the low-voltage end, we have:

  • Wooden poles carrying four wires on small ceramic insulators, or bundles of insulated cables twisted together. These lines are usually 400 V between phases, which directly provide the domestic 230 V supply. Most of these follow roads and paths.
  • Wooden poles with two or three widely-spaced bare wires on large insulators having one or two plates. These lines are 11,000 volts - often used for distribution in rural areas.
  • Wooden poles with three bare wires on multi-plate insulators are 33,000 V or 45,000 V between phases - usually on higher and more substantial poles, sometimes poles are used in pairs and sometimes two circuits are run in parallel on the same poles.
  • Metal towers carrying a set of single wires (usually three plus an earth wire on top) are 132,000 V. These are gradually disappearing.
  • Towers with three or six double wires are 275,000 V
  • Towers with three or six quadruple wires are 400,000 V

United States

The number of conductors (i.e. single, double, triple) is simply relevant to the current handling capacity, and not more or less likely to be seen for any particular voltage. Similarly, the number of 3-phase circuits (groups of 3 cables) is simply a matter of capacity required, since single-circuit paths are (somewhat surprisingly) much cheaper to construct - the cost of the cables themselves apparently being the most significant factor.


In Japan, see User:Nahainec/PowerLine.


See WikiProject Power networks/France


The electricity overlay map view from ITO Map showing power=line according to voltage=* (red = 400 kV+, purple = 300-399 kV, light blue = 200-299 kV, green < 200 kV).

Electricity europe.png

MapCSS style

A mapCSS stylesheet is available for josm.


See also